IS IT THE SAME FOR ALL OF US?
Do we carry our prejudices with us wherever we go?
When I see Gaza being bombed or the settlers beating up old Palestinian women on their own land, I feel outraged.
When I see Israelis lamenting about the homemade rockets hitting their houses and a child loses a leg, I feel outraged, but do I harbour a suspicion that 'they had it coming?' Often on camera there are Palestinians who shout 'Why? What have we done to deserve this? And conversely there are again on camera Israelis shouting, "They are animals and should be exterminated!"
Now I do not wish to belittle the Palestinian suffering, after all the fourth (or is it the third?) most powerful army in the world against defenceless, for the most part, Palestinians seems like a no win situation for the Palestinians.
You can find credible articles all over the Internet about the connivance and deceit of the Israelis in negotiating for peace, building more settlements on Palestinian land while the talks go on. But all these details, if you will pardon my use of that word for horrific deaths and injuries, are mostly irrelevant.
What is really going on here? Is every Israeli a Zionist settler wielding baseball bats at old ladies, chopping down the olive trees, serving in the IDF and humiliating pregnant Palestinian women at check points?
I've seen documentaries on Al Jazeera and short films on You Tube that say otherwise. One particularly revealing documentary some time ago was where the 'wall' was low, and had small spaces and there was a gas station owner and a man who made tea for businesses, as is common in the Middle East where I have had first hand experience – when you stop to look in a shop and browse, the owner quickly gets the local 'chaigee' to bring tea, so you stay longer and feel obliged to buy something.
Also in this film was an Israeli woman who spoke Arabic and English and conversed with the Palestinians and the Israeli soldiers who were turning a blind eye to the men, women and children climbing over and through the wall. The end of the documentary unfortunately saw the arrival of the big trucks with the 15 foot cement building blocks of the replacement wall, The gas station owner was already poor because of the original wall, laying off two workers, and the final wall meant he walked away from his business, because nobody could access it.
One of the soldiers who accompanied the new wall, and other Israeli taxi drivers had various things to say about it all, mostly regurgitated propaganda about Palestinians not wanting peace, but the fairest remark I heard was that both sides need to understand the position of the other.
The Palestinians are undoubtedly hard done by; the international press ignores or suppresses everything that goes on in the West Bank and Gaza. The refugees in other countries like Jordan and Lebanon are not in the news. The only time I've heard the refugees mentioned by Israelis is on the Haaretz comment section below an article. Usually the most common reference is that the Arabs in general do not care for the Palestinians otherwise they would have accommodated and integrated them into their societies, and by the way they (the Palestinians) are not the problem of the Israelis but the problem should be solved by the other Arabian countries.
This is always accompanied by the right wing idea that Israel is only 1/100th of the land and the Arabs have 99/100ths and the dastardly Arabs want all the land. This seems to me, an untrained but an 'interested in psychology' person, a classic transference syndrome – i.e. what you are – you accuse others of. It can be seen in almost everything said about the Middle East, the Terrorist States of Israel, Britain and America accuse others of terrorism or harbouring and training and funding terrorists. It is all part of the 'we have to fight them over there or we will have to fight them over here' propaganda.
Which brings me to the real point of the article and that is, are the Israelis brainwashed? Are the Arabs fed the same kind but opposite disinformation as we are?
Remembering a particular vicious statement by an Israeli woman and statements from a Knesset member that 'we should raze Gaza to the ground' in retaliation of the rockets.' The hatred on both sides is endemic, but where does it come from?
Everyone into Internet news knows the lies and omissions of the mainstream media in the west; it has become almost a mantra, but what about the other side, or multiple sides? Is Chinese propaganda benign? Is Russian news helpful to the Russian populations? And what about the Arab press, do they publish their government's indiscretions and atrocities? I don't speak much Arabic so I cannot judge. But I do have time on my hands and regularly watch Russian TV in English, Chinese, French, Spanish TV, CNN and Fox News, (when I can stand it) and have made some poor attempts to find out about Iran and so on. My overall impression is that there is propaganda on all of them, including the celebrated 'impartial' BBC.